DENVER (KDVR) — More people are starting to fly amid the pandemic. At Denver International Airport, nearly 200,000 people passed through security areas the week leading into July.
“The leisure traveler right now is kind of saving the airline industry,” said Jeff Price, Aviation Expert and Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Because of this, airlines which originally offered additional safety measures by keeping some seats vacant on flights, are now packing their planes full of people.
“I don’t think anyone really anticipated the airlines were going to keep those middle seats vacant for very long,” Price said.
The switchover has left plenty of passengers feeling anxious.
“Every seat on the plane was full – I couldn’t believe it,” explained Terri Thompson, who had to fly to Washington from Colorado recently.
Thompson booked her flight through Frontier.
“They can book a full plane, but my gosh… They need to at least keep the middle seats open,” Thompson said.
Thompson was concerned about her aunt, who was traveling with her.
“She has heart trouble and it scared me. I didn’t want it to infect her or anyone else. So it worried me very greatly,” Thompson said.
At this point, Southwest Airlines is still keeping its middle seats open. Other airlines have adapted different safety measures to help protect their customers.
For instance, United Airlines now boards rows in reverse to help cut down on the number of people passing by one another.
According to Price and other aviation experts, taking necessary precautions will help keep you safe.
“Do social distancing as best as you can,” Price explained. “Wipe down your seat and tray before sitting down with disinfectant, carry hand sanitizer and always wear a mask”.